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Contest Looks to Build Apps for Social Good

‘Hack for Change,’ a 24-hour contest to develop Web and mobile applications for social change, will be held June 18-19, in San Francisco.

“Hack for Change,” a 24-hour contest to develop Web and mobile applications for social change will be held on June 18-19, in San Francisco.

Hosted by in partnership with Code for America and Mashable, the event will feature presentations from various nonprofit organizations and companies that afterward will provide a number of data sets for contestants to work with. Web designers and developers then have 24 hours to build an app that advances some sort of positive social change.

“The San Francisco Bay Area is home to the world’s top Web designers and developers — many of whom would like to use their skills for social change, but have not been asked,” said Ben Rattray, founder of “Hack for Change is looking to tap into the tech community to help build apps that change lives and to provide an easy first step into the technology-for-good movement.”

The contest will be held at’s headquarters in the SOMA (South of Market St.) district of San Francisco. The completed apps will be evaluated by a panel of judges, with the top-three apps splitting up $10,000 in seed funding as a prize.

Registration for the event is free, but only 50 contestants will be selected to take part in the event. For more information and to sign-up, visit Hack for Change’s website. Members of the public are welcome to submit their own ideas for apps they would like to see developed during the competition. Ideas can be submitted here.

“Hack for Change joins a growing movement that is using technology for social change,” said Jennifer Pahlka, executive director and founder of Code for America, a nonprofit organization that pairs Web developers with local governments to develop applications. “We are excited to see the new apps that are developed and the people who are inspired to use their technical skills to enrich public life.”


Miriam Jones is a former chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.